It has not been a universal phenomenon by any means but after the joyous first week of this World Cup a number of games have taken a turn for the physical and the cynical as the prospect of elimination has become more immediate. That may be an indication that the emphasis in the knockout stage will be rather more attritional than the tournament has been up until now.

An ugly and bruising encounter ended in a stalemate that meant France progressed at the head of the group and will face Nigeria in the second round while Ecuador were eliminated, undone, ultimately, by the last-minute goal they conceded in their opening game against Switzerland.

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